Happy 2017, the last year of human existence! We had a good run, folks, and I can’t think of a better way to wait out our inevitable nuclear holocaust than with many, many beers. With that in mind, it’s time for the Annual Half-Assed New Year’s Post!
2016, Smell Ya Later
A lot in the year of our Dog, 2016. Most of awful, some of it terrible. For starters, a totally unqualified man was elected President… of my homebrew club. That man was (is) me. Say hello to the new El Hefe of the Mash Holes. The people have spoken and they demand chaos. In other news that’s good for me and embarrassing for everyone else: I also tied for our club’s Brewer of the Year award. I’m not not proud of that accomplishment, especially since the man I tied – Andy – is probably one of the best homebrewers I’ve ever known.
As for the brewing goals I set way back in the carefree days on January-last, I fell a bit short… pretty much in all of them. I was initially pushing to brew 20 batches of homebrew last year, or roughly 100-120 gallons of beer. I ended up at 14 batches and roughly 75 gallons of beer. Not bad, but not quite the high marks I was aiming for. I also didn’t enter any BJCP competitions like I had planned; though I did win the club Pumpkin competition, and placed highly in our other club competitions and another local competition. And I never did get around to putting collars on my kegerator or fermentation chambers. But I did go to Homebrew Con, so that kind of makes up for it all, right?
2017, The Reign of Error
So with those shortcomings in the rear-view mirror, I’m looking forward to 2017. My first and primary goal is to not run my homebrew club into the ground. I’m one of only two returning Cabinet members from last year, so there’s a lot of fresh blood/ideas for the new year. Early recruitment efforts appear to be working out, so I’m hoping we can continue to grow despite what will likely be dubbed “poor leadership.”
On a more personal level, I’m revisiting my goal from 2016 and revising it based on last year’s performance. This year I’m shooting for 15 batches brewed and 75-100 gallons of beer. Given our club brews, a couple 10 gallon batches, and a some warmer-than-average weather I think I may be able to hit this goal. I will be somewhat hindered by vacations (one in February, one in May), a likely trip to Homebrew Con in June, various weddings throughout the summer, and good old fashioned Lack O’ Fucking Money.
I do want to try some lighter (read: cheaper) styles of beer this year as well. I’ve written a recipe for a – gasp – American Lager. My reason for brewing such a sacrilegious concoction? Frankly, I enjoy Miller High Life, and I enjoy a shower beer after a hockey game or a sparring session at the boxing gym. So intend of giving $8 to the sketchy liquor store down the street, I figured I should try to brew my own. I mean, that’s the point of homebrewing, right?
With all due apologies to the boys at Brulosophy, I’m also hoping to do some exBEERiments in 2017. I’m hoping to get the homebrew club involved in this, but I’ve got at least one or two members that are interested in doing some experiments related to New England IPA haze/character/clarity, etc. My hypothesis is that dry hopping during active fermentation is the key contributing factor to dat haze, so we’re planning to test that and other variables with split batches. I’ll probably end up hosting the beers since I have the fermentation chambers.
I’m also going to get off my ass and enter at least one damn BJCP competition. Well, more accurately my goal is to WIN one damn BJCP medal, but since I didn’t even get around to entering a competition last year, we’ll start small and work our way up.
Lastly, the beer-cations. Homebrew Con, Beans N Brew, and of course JAMBO are all on the to-do list for 2017.
Well, it’s already 3 days into 2017 and I haven’t brewed a single beer yet. Better luck next year, I guess.